San Mateo County Health officials urge flu shots
October is the best month to get the vaccine
As flu season begins, San Mateo County Health officials urge everyone six months and older to get a flu vaccine. A flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick and may make your illness milder if you do get sick. It also helps protect family members and others in the community. The vaccine is available from your health care provider and from local pharmacies. To find a location near you, visit vaccinefinder.org.
San Mateo County Health is offering free flu vaccine clinics at various times and locations around the county. Get more information here: www.smchealth.org/flu.
San Mateo County Health operates a hotline at (650) 573-3927 with recorded information, in English and Spanish, about flu vaccines and clinic hours and locations.
Speakers of Tagalog, Mandarin, and Cantonese may call (800) 675-8437 to be connected to a translator and receive vaccine and clinic information.
San Mateo County residents who are homebound may call (800) 675-8437 to arrange a flu vaccine.
“Getting the flu vaccine is the most important thing you can do to protect your health and the health of your family and friends,” says Robyn Ziegler, MPH, San Mateo County Health’s immunization program coordinator. “Flu can be extremely dangerous, even deadly, for people with certain health conditions. By getting vaccinated and protecting yourself, you are also protecting others.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) urges people to get their flu vaccine by the end of October, as the disease usually starts circulating in November or December. Every season, flu sickens millions in the United States, hospitalizes hundreds of thousands, and kills tens of thousands, according to the CDC.
Because the vaccine takes two weeks to become fully effective, it is important for everyone six months and older to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccines are especially important for pregnant women, children younger than five, adults 65 and older, and those with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes.
Residents are encouraged to address the illness early and consider calling a doctor or using a local urgent care facility as needed if they start to experience symptoms. Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.
In addition to getting the vaccine, the following steps will help prevent the spread of the flu:
- Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue.
- If you do not have a tissue, cough into your elbow.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Stay home until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours.
As a county health department, San Mateo County Health administers public health programs and provides clinical and supportive services to the community. Our mission is to help everyone in San Mateo County live longer and better lives.